PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
In the line of work that I do, I have many opportunities to attend trade shows and fairs, setting up my business information and a small array of books and such for purchase. Many times, given the titles of books on display and perhaps my brochure outlining services and modalities I provide, I have found myself facing the question “Are you New Age?” Though some of what I do and what I offer does touch on aspects that are considered New Age, it is not a tag I have felt resonated with either my personal path or work. But the question has often caused me pause. Stymied on how to respond, I have pondered: What is New Age exactly? What constitutes New Age practices? What is different about what I do? And, if not New Age, then what am I?
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to experience a pagan holiday in a pagan city, well, you don't have to wait until your next incarnation to find out.
Just come to pagan Minneapolis for Bealtaine.
For 42 years, the magic and artistry of Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater has brought the joy of May to Witch City. 50,000 people line Bloomington Avenue for the Parade and then follow it, dancing, in unbridled celebration of the Coming of the Sun and the melting of Winter's icy heart.
In Powderhorn Park, we call the Sun, which sails to us across the lake in its winged boat. By its power, the Tree of Life rises renewed, and the city-wide party begins.
Bealtaine's coming up, and with it the annual problem: how do we decide who to sacrifice this year?
Well, I don't know how they go about it where you live, but one tried-and-true method is the Bealtaine Bannock.
You cook a barley-cake over an open fire and break it up into pieces. One piece you mark black with charcoal from the fire. Then everyone draws a piece and eats it. Whoever gets the black piece wins. Or loses. Whatever.
It's a old method of Choosing. The stomachs of several bog bodies have been found to contain remnants of charred bannock. Hey, if it was good enough for Lindow Man, it's good enough for me.
Halloween is tricky business in Australia. For those who wish to indulge in the treat of dressing up, eating lollies (the more common term for 'candy') and celebrating all things spooky, there are a few barriers to hammer against. Luckily for those who have gazed at the event with envy overseas, those barriers are slowly crumbling and Halloween has made its presence felt down under....
Some days when I look out my window from the Appalachians, I magically see the landscape of home, Scotland. The great mountain of Ben Lomond drawing in clouds of rain off the Atlantic. I can even hear the call of seagulls. No matter where I am in the world, I always feel that deep connection of a place called home.
That land, of which I am an integral part, is still connected to me, and still feeds me stories even though we are an ocean apart. One familiar character is the Cailleach, so old that even she doesn’t realize her own age. If you were to ask her how old age she was, she would reply:
'When the ocean was a forest, I was just a young girl'
Faith is a fact of life for many. But the plurality of voices and ideas is one for all of us. How then do you reconcile your deepest held convictions when they run contrary to those of others? Today's stories take a look at the many ways people of different beliefs come together... or not.